Shutdown Theater: Amber Alert website goes down
If you woke up Monday morning to incredible rumors that the Obama Administration actually shut down the Amber Alert website for missing children, as part of his Shutdown Theater efforts to beat American into submission, it’s absolutely true. Other “essential” functions of government – such as the First Lady’s vanity projects and Postal Service resources for stamp collectors – are still 100 percent up and running, but if you go to the federal Amber Alert website, you’ll see this:
It doesn’t really save any money to do this – the web hosting fees for the site must still be paid, and it was just a simple but effective federal gateway to state resources, which are still up and running. Far more elaborate and frivolous websites, such as Michelle Obama’s recently-launched “Drink Up” campaign to remind people to drink water, are still chugging along.
There were a few sheepish and abortive media efforts on Sunday to pretend this is no big deal, because the bulk of the state-run Amber Alert system still functions… but that makes the AmberAlert.gov shutdown even more petty, nonsensical, and vindictive. It’s a pure spite move, designed to frighten Americans into submitting to Barack Obama’s demands.
And it’s another reminder of how utterly incompetent this gigantic federal system really is. Obama apologists have been trying to give him a pass on some of these Shutdown Theater outrages by claiming it’s all out of his hands, and the federal government is merely following a pre-written shutdown protocol – presumably devised at some point after the previous 16 shutdowns, during which none of this crap happened. That’s not a viable argument in the case of something like the World War II Memorial blockade, where orders are known to have come from the White House, but if we take it seriously with regard to other Shutdown Theater performances, it’s a strong case for congressional oversight, a massive wave of sackings among top bureaucrats, and perhaps criminal charges.
Only 17 percent of government functions are actually affected by this partial shutdown. The American people are supposed to be comfortable with a government that planned to have a complete nervous breakdown and pointlessly disable itself under such conditions? And how in the world could any sensible emergency protocol include swapping out a valuable resource to save missing children for a “website is unavailable” message? We’re already reeling from the massive incompetence of the ObamaCare rollout, which is such a disaster that the outright theft of taxpayer money must be considered as a possible explanation. The Obama Administration is a total basket case. The President is making a strong argument for taking his government apart at the seams, in the interests of our own safety.
But the “automatic emergency protocol” excuse doesn’t explain the active, aggressive, and probably money-wasting efforts by this vindictive Administration to bring pain to the American people. Obama’s enforcers have booted property owners out of the own homes because they had the misfortune to live on federal land. Among the sixty or so victims in Lake Mead, Nevada eviction were an elderly couple that bought their home in the Seventies. 80-year-old Ralph Spencer had to climb onto a scooter to comply with Obama’s eviction notice.
Buy a home on federal land with your own money, and Democrats will take you hostage. Live on public property at taxpayer expense, and you’re safe as houses.
Over at the Pisgah Inn on the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina, owner Bruce O’Connor made a patriotic stand against the Obama Administration and chose to defy a shutdown order. There was absolutely no reason for his inn to be closed; it just happens to sit on land O’Connor has been leasing from the federal government for the past 35 years. It’s high season at the inn, which employs a hundred people and was booked solid for the month of October. The owner was obviously worried about his employees, guests, and lost revenue, but also spoke of higher principles: “It’s conscience and conviction that have taken over me, and I just can’t roll over any more.”
Alas, as USA Today reports, Obama’s shock troops arrived to crush his conscience and conviction in two hours flat. Draining resources from other emergency response efforts, a swarm of Park Police barricaded the entrance to the inn with their cars, forcing O’Connor to submit. The Blue Ridge Parkway is still open; Obama’s forces just blocked off the parking lot. The local ranger chief says the orders came directly from Washington. He was instructed to “ensure people don’t utilize a business that, according to the federal government, is closed,’ even though according to its owner and employees, it’s open. What a pure expression of Obama’s gangster government philosophy! Al Capone couldn’t have said it better.
“Right now it appears we have reached a point where we have to acquiesce, but it doesn’t mean tomorrow something might change,” sighed O’Connor. He’ll have to issue refunds to his guests, and of course they’ll have to change or cancel their vacation plans. The Washington Times lists various other concessions that have been arbitrarily closed as part of Shutdown Theater, from a tavern in Philadelphia to a motor lodge on Cape Cod, putting thousands of people out of work – and unlike the furloughed bureaucrats, they won’t be getting back pay, nor will their employers be compensated for lost revenue. But that’s a small price to pay to keep Democrats rolling in dough, right? Who cares about hard-working inn employees, missing children, or kids with cancer when we’ve got an army of Assistant Deputy Directors of Something-or-Other to think about?
Citizens have risen up against the Obama Administration across the country. In Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, patriots took down the Barrycades and proceeded into closed parks, as hilariously chronicled by the Mining Journal:
In the U.P., the National Park Service closure affects Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Alger County, the Keweenaw National Historical Park and Isle Royale National Park.
However, on Saturday, park visitors were disregarding closed signs, police-style tape, construction barrels and hazard cones put up by Pictured Rocks staff.
On Miners Castle Road, half the roadway remained blocked at the park border, but someone had pushed aside a construction barrel, opening traffic to Miners Castle, Miners Beach and Miners Falls.
At Munising Falls, park visitors avoided the blocked off parking lot and instead parked along Washington Street in Munising. Many of the vehicles had out-of-state plates. An 800-foot pathway leading up to the falls had two strings of the tape strung across the entryway.
A woman heading for the falls simply stepped over the first tape.
“Well that worked, huh?” she asked rhetorically.
The second line of tape had been ripped down previously.
For the benefit of the denser Obama partisans who still think this is somehow the Republicans’ fault, they’ve introduced a bill that would reopen all the national parks, but Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said they’ll kill it. In your face, peasants!
On the religious freedom front, Army chaplains have been threatened with disciplinary action if they volunteer their services while officially on furlough. “Catholic military personnel should not have their religious liberties held hostage by this funding crisis,” said Ron Crews, executive director of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty. “I find it alarming that these priests cannot even volunteer to provide services without threat of arrest.” One priest was forbidden from officiating at a wedding, although the loving couple was told they could go ahead and do the wedding without him.
That sounds just like the Pisgah Inn shutdown. We can’t have people holding Mass at a church the government says is closed, even if the clergy says it’s open.
One final bit of Shutdown Theater fun, and another indicator of the sheer incompetence of this bloated government: Somehow a 9-year-old boy managed to hop a flight from Minneapolis to Las Vegas last Thursday, passing effortlessly through three levels of security, even though he didn’t have an escort… or a plane ticket. He also stole luggage from a bag carousel, and stole food from an airport restaurant. “A statement on the TSA’s website said that the federal funding shutdown meant no information on the incident would be immediately available online,” reports the UK Daily Mail. How convenient. Wasn’t the TSA supposed to be immune to the shutdown?
Update: According to Christine Rousselle at TownHall.com, the shutdown of the Amber Alert website is a violation of the Justice Department’s official contingency plans.
Update: … and the Amber Alert website is back up. Another defeat for the Obama Administration, which apparently remains just in-touch enough to respond to nationwide cries of outrage from an electorate tech-savvy enough to understand how websites work.